A three storey addition and dramatic rear garden architectural spaces all work well together in this far-sighted and sustainable project

Renovation by Aleksandra Savic Rakocevic, Star Architecture

Winner – TIDA Australia Home of the Year

From the architects:

The project for Hawthorn East Residence involved the restoration and modification of a heritage two storey Italianate-style villa.

The renovation honours the historical significance of the frontage, while the contemporary three-storey addition and a series of social spaces internalise the view, providing privacy and reinforcing the landscape.

Hawthorn East Residence provides the owners with a home comprised of restrained geometric forms, open spaces, a bold use of materials and an abundance of natural light.

The imposing nature of the new structures and natural stone surfaces are balanced with the contrasting use of green walls and transparency.

The latter is provided by the large glazed sliding doors that open the ground floor spaces to the exterior spaces and also by the glass in the three-storey lift/stairwell tower.

Further breakdown of restrained architectural forms is achieved in the program of the outdoor spaces which act as more as a collection of smaller spaces with seamless visual and physical connections.

Coming from New Zealand, one of our homeowners’ main design brief elements was a wish to reflect the New Zealand coastal feeling and colours in the architectural and landscape design.

This was achieved by combining blue pool tiles with green landscaping patches and with the inclusion of the Pohutukawa tree in the landscape design.

As a background, native New Zealand Rimu was used as a cladding on the lift shaft and pool pavilion ceiling.

Along with the heritage frontage and a contemporary three-storey tower addition, the rear garden houses a collection of spaces linked through access and aesthetic design.

These areas can be used as a private sanctuary or as an entertainment space for social gatherings.

The new basement – running along the side of the property – comprises a garage, a car wash, a bar and a home theatre, and is connected with an existing cellar underneath the heritage house.

The lift/stair shaft connects all levels, along with the private sky lounge on the second storey with its unobstructed view of Melbourne city.

The relationship of the built form to the context of the project

The three-storey addition corresponds with proportions of the historic frontage and amplifies its significance rather than competing. The architectural opposites in this program complement via contrast, showcasing their differences: old and new, stone and glass, classic and contemporary.

Visual overlap occurs in the bluestone wall cladding, mirrored in the blue stone foundations visible from ground level in the existing façade.

The height of the build form from the street, concealing the top level, ensures the addition remains unobtrusive and secondary to the heritage house.

The large site is softened into smaller experiences and spaces dressed in a limited palette of natural materials.

Program resolution – how does the functional performance meet the homeowners’ brief

This project is designed around two main elements in the homeowers’  brief. The first is a flawless interior transition from the restored house to the addition at the rear, while the second was the requirement for a series of flexible spaces opened to landscaped areas.

By use of the natural materials presented in the heritage frontage and combining them with restrained design elements, we achieved an elegant design that seamlessly connects old and new. 

The contemporary addition  – pool, gym and pavilion, designed on top of the basement – created the required collection of various spaces, linked through access and visual connection.

Integration of allied disciplines

With a meticulous approach to all project aspects, the well coordinated consultants team delivered the home that responds well to its context, it uses sustainable principles and fulfils the owners’ brief.

Clever structural design provides separation of new build forms from the existing house and a smart design for the pool on top of the basement. The landscaping design reflects a sensitive approach and the new bold volumes form a dynamic and diverse response to architectural spaces.

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Star Architecture
Interior designer
Star Architecture
Neptune Pools
Window/door joinery
Autex Windows and Doors
Bedroom flooring
Rugs and carpet by RC+D Rugs
Real Flame
Control systems
Clever Living
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) – Australian Home of the Year
Visioneer Builders
KItchen manufacturer
Fineform Joinery
Jack Merlo
Lysaght Longline 305
Main flooring
Winspear Group
Bathroom tiles
Perini Tiles
General heating
Gas Hydronic Heating – in-slab and wall panels
Feature light fittings and dining table/chairs
RH Modern
Living area furniture
King Furniture

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Peter Bennetts

29 Nov, 2020

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